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OLD GREAT BULGARIA

Around 632 - 635 the ruler Khan Koubrat (630 - 665) managed to unite the Bulgarian tribes inhabiting the Azov and the Caspian areas, founding the first Bulgarian state in the Middle Ages, called ,,Old Great Bulgaria" by the Byzantine authors. Its frontiers reached up to the rivers Kuban and Dnepar, the Azov and the Black seas. The period after Koubrat's death is marked by the expansion of the neighbouring Hazar haganate (mediaeval state that existed from the middle of the 7th till the end of the 10th c. on the territory of the Northern Caucasus, the Azov area, part of the Crimean Peninsula and the reaches of the River Dnepar). Under its blows, Old Great Bulgaria disintegrated. A material memory of the time of its existence is the treasure of the village of Malaya Pereshchepina in the Ukraine. It is today kept in the Hermitage (Sankt Petersburg). The ancient wooden casket with gold ornaments discovered in the village in 1921 and many objects like a sword, a war belt, fragments of a quiver, drinking horn and others, made most scholars believe that the finding is a rich burial of a nomadic ruler - a khan. We can judge about the personality of its owner in the first place by the two massive ring-seals with a monogram made in the name of the Bulgarian Khan Koubrat and the title of patrician bestowed on him by the Byzantine Emperor Iraclius. The treasure is dated back to the 7th c. but this is not a solid proof that this is necessarily the burial of Khan Koubrat.

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